Falana: Buhari’s Overseas Medicare Confirms Inequality in Nigeria

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FEMI FALANA
  • Says FG must pay ransom for kidnapped Nigerians

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has said President Muhammdu Buhari’s medical treatment abroad constituted a gross abuse of the rights of the less-privileged and underscored the pervasive inequality among Nigerian citizens

Falana, who however, said the president deserves the best treatment to sustain his mental ability and competence, posited that it constituted an abuse of rights and class differences, if such privilege can’t be enjoyed by other Nigerians.

The lawyer was of the opinion that the federal government should henceforth pay the ransom demanded by kidnappers for any kidnapped Nigerian, saying “the responsibility of government is to protect our lives and property.

“Let me say, if I am kidnapped today and I pay ransom to secure my freedom, I will surely take FG to court to refund my money because it is the responsibility of government to secure my life,” he said.

He said it sounded so unfathomable that the president and other top Nigerians like the late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme could be hurriedly flown abroad for medical treatments while Nigerian hospitals were being ill-equipped thereby causing death of poor Nigerians who suffer lesser afflictions.

The lawyer spoke on Thursday at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti during the launching of a book entitled: ‘Financing Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria’ written by Dr Olaofe Ogundipe.

Falana, who presented a lecture titled: ‘The Justiceability of Health

As a Human Right’, said Section 17 of the constitution and National Health Act 2014 made it a matter of imperative for government to foot the medical bills of poor Nigerians, regretting that these are not

being implemented.

The human rights activist added that the level of ignorance among Nigerians are still very high and this he said accounted for why vast majority of them don’t take governments to courts on issues of abuses

of rights.

“In the last couple of years, President Buhari has been flown abroad for medical treatment at public expense . In the same vein, the

federal government recently announced that it would pick up the medical bills of the late former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme in a London hospital.

“While the nation’s leaders deserve the best medical treatment for the preservation of their lives, it is our submission that the federal government must bear the medical bills of all citizens without discrimination.

“This submission is anchored on Section 42 of the constitution which

has guaranteed the fundamental right of every citizen to freedom from discrimination in a manner that no citizen shall be accorded any special advantage over and above others.

“While it is correct to state that section 17(3) of the constitution which has imposed a duty on state to ensure that there are adequate

medical and health facilities for all persons is not justiceable, it is submitted that the fundamental right to health which is inseparable to the right to life is enforceable,” he said.

Falana urged the federal government to ensure the effectiveness of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by making it affordable for every citizen.

“Instead of the healthcare providers to do the right thing, they were only using the opportunity to cheat the subscribers by giving them undeserving patronage for them to make more money,” he alleged.

  • Moon

    This Falana is speaking on his both side of mouth. The same Falana has been supporting and defending Buhari and his administration in all the murderous atrocity against to his own people, and corruptions cases against Nigerian people. I wonder how much the writer of the book paid him to speak on both side of it mouth.

  • remm ieet

    It is criminal for any Nigerian government offical to spend money to any other foreign government to receive healthcare. How will they explain the lack of funding that is destroying our healthcare system as we speak?
    Those foreign countries taking the money we should have spent on our healthcare are the same countries giving aid to Nigeria. That sounds illogical to me. Illogicality runs through almost all the facets of our transactions with foreign western states. All Nigerians have got used to this anomaly. That is why we are not protesting. The action of the president in getting prolonged medical help from the UK is a sign that this government has given up pretending about moving the country forward.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    I am on the same page with Falana on this one. It should be noted that the Administration of illiterate certificate forger and perjurer Muhammadu Buhari has been undermining the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release the quantum of foreign exchange he has expended on his medical treatment so far.